Two mosques in a West Bank village were defaced with racist graffiti, a local official said on Sunday, marking the latest hate crime by suspected Jewish settlers.
“Settlers came in the middle of the night and wrote threats in Hebrew on the walls of two mosques and slashed the tires of a car,” said Adel al-Shaer, a councilor for Tuqua, a village east of Bethlehem.
At one site in Tuqua, the attackers scrawled: “Adele Biton’s revenge” – an Israeli toddler injured during a stone-throwing incident in March – and “Price tag for throwing stones,” and drew two Stars of David around the front entrance with the words: “Regards from Adele,” an AFP correspondent said.
Similar slogans were tagged on another mosque in the village.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed details of the attack, adding that two cars, not one, had had their tires slashed.
Residents told Ma’an news agency that Israeli soldiers had guarded the settlers who participated in the vandalism. A military spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Villagers threw stones at police and troops sent to the village to investigate the crimes, damaging some of their vehicles, she added.
Such incidents are known as “price tag” attacks, a euphemism for hate crimes against Palestinians by Israeli extremists.
The attacks began in response to Israeli government moves to dismantle settler outposts in the West Bank – which are deemed illegal under international law – but over the past 18 months they have targeted anyone seen as hostile to Jewish settlers.
Perpetrators of such crimes are rarely caught.
In late March, Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet said it had arrested five teenagers over the March 14 attack which caused a woman in a car with her three young daughters to lose control and crash into a parked lorry.